Problem Solving Process

In problem solving , other than the problem solving process , there are many methods and techniques that can be used to solve problems depending upon the complexity of the problems and the experience of the problem solver . Some are relatively complex and some are easy to use . But nevertheless problem solving can and do have a systematic way of identifying and eventually solving a particular problem . Before we examine the problem solving process , there are some basic rules , proposal or recipes that are typically required in problem solving .

Problem solving process | Basic Recipes

problem solvingIn problem solving , there are 2 basic recipes . They are

  1. Problems needs to be broken down to bite sizes . It needs to be matched with the right level of expertise so that we don’t solve a problem that is too big such that it overwhelms us
  2. Group participation . As everyone has different capabilities , talent and experience , it is important to have a mix of members so that as a group many ideas and views are being shared and looked into to solve a particular problem . The problem or solutions can be explored from a different angle or perspective to generate different ideas and solutions to the problem

Problem solving process | Generic process steps

Problem solving processMost problem solving process  involve these few generic steps . They are

  1. Problem definition . Define the problem statement clearly . As team members are involved and possibly having different experience , background  and capabilities , it is important that the problem be accurately defined as that everyone understand what the problem is . If no one understand what the problem is , then there will be very little active participation from members and the ideas or solutions will not be of high quality . So it is vital that every member understand and recognize the problem
  2. Data availability . Collect data to understand the current situation .
  3. Understand the root cause . This steps involve establishing relationship or finding a proper coordinates . To do this majority of the different techniques basically try to group the data into common themes , categories or groups . The intent is to establish some form of coordinates so that the data make sense to aid root cause analysis of findings
  4. Generate ideas , alternatives and solutions . This involve imagination and putting up hypothesis that can best support the relationship identified in step 3 . The more the better because majority of breakthroughs actually come from this step
  5. Evaluate and select the alternatives . In this selection step , we may start with the alternatives that is best supported by “evidences”  so collected . If the eventual data does not support this possible solution , then select the next best alternatives .
  6. Implement & track the solutions . This is the trial out to determine if the solution works and how far it can go towards meeting the expectations . It is basically to confirm that the solution works
  7. Fan-out or full implementation . Once the results are satisfactory then the “solution”  will be full implemented

 Problem Solving Process | Summary

In summary , there are 3 important points about problem solving

  1. if we have a difficult problem , then it needs to be broken down to manageable sizes .
  2. One of the very important ingredient of problem solving in the involvement of people , with different background , talent , capabilities and experience . It allows the problem to be seen from a different perspective and in turn offer ideas and solution that are rich and new .
  3. Last , problem solving has a system or its own problem solving process ,  to allow anyone to approach the problem in a systematic manner

 

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